Montana Public Radio

Bitterroot River

 

Protests against how the state and federal government is handling coronavirus have surged across the country and in Montana. Most recently, animal rights protestors gathered outside Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton where scientists are hard at work on a vaccine. But public opposition to scientific efforts has a long history in Montana. 

Montana Flood News Roundup For May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018
The Clark Fork River above flood stage in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Flood waters remain a concern across Montana today and into next week.

A road closed sign in a flooded Missoula neighborhood, May 12, 2018.
Inciweb

Flooding continues to be a concern on rivers and streams across western and central Montana. In Missoula, evacuation orders are still in place for 65 homes, with warnings posted for an additional 2,200 more. But there’s at least a glimmer of good news for the Clark Fork River above Missoula.

Volunteers fill sandbags at Fort Missoula, May 15, 2018 in Missoula, MT.
Olivia Sears

Flooding on some western Montana rivers slowed early this week, but warming temperatures mean more flooding is on the way.

Flooding on the Clark Fork River near East Missoula.
East Missoula Rural Fire Department

The flooding Clark Fork River at Missoula is forecast  to hit just over 14 feet by tomorrow afternoon. It’s then expected to settle down - but not for long.

Fourteen feet is territory not seen on the Clark Fork in over 40 years. The raging river has already prompted mandatory evacuations for about 60 homes.

Clark Fork River in Missoula, May 9, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Update: 9:25 p.m. 

New evacuations due to flooding have been ordered near Missoula tonight. According to a post from the Missoula County Sheriffs Office, "three homes on Harper’s Bridge Road are now under an evacuation order, while 10 additional homes on Harper’s Bridge Road have been put in evacuation warning. A road block has been established on Harper’s Bridge Road and Lavoie."

Flooding in Missoula along the north end of Tower Street, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

This post will be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available. 

Update: 4:47 p.m.

Rivers and streams across western and parts of central Montana are steadily rising as record mountain snowpack continues to melt.

It seems the passage of Montana’s seasons isn't marked so much anymore by gradually changing weather as it is natural disasters.

Flood outlook for the Clark For River near Missoula.
National Weather Service

Western Montana’s flood waters receded a little bit Thursday, but it’s only a temporary reprieve. Warmer temperatures are on the horizon, and there’s more snowpack left in the mountains. Lots more.

Warm temperatures will bring increased snowmelt through the weekend. This, coupled with the widespread rainfall forecast across the Northern Rockies late Saturday through Monday, will bring rapid rises in water levels into early next week.
National Weather Service Missoula

The National Weather Service predicts western Montana is going to have a long and active flood season this year, and flood season could soon get off to a not-so-slow build.

National Weather Service Hydrologist Ray Nickless says Friday is expected to bring some of the warmest temperatures of the year to western Montana, with highs pushing 80 degrees.

A Bitterroot River fishing report outside Osprey Outfitters, a fly fishing shop in Hamilton.
Maxine Speier

New regulations to limit commercial guiding and float-fishing along the West Fork and Upper Bitterroot River will get a public hearing in Missoula Monday night. It's the first of three hearings Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is holding to get public feedback on the proposals.

On Saturday fish are rising to feed on the Bitterroot a short walk from downtown Hamilton. The river is teeming with fish - at about a thousand trout per mile, the Bitterroot holds many more fish than other rivers its same size. The valley is a well known blue ribbon fly-fishing destination.

But what do you do when a sport gets too popular?

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